Discussing a report by software industry group Nasscom which says that 75 percent engineering students in India are unemployable, education experts here on Saturday said that the Indian higher education system must give skill building and practical training equal importance as academics to give them an edge.
A.D. Sahasrabudhu, director of the College of Engineering, Pune said that one of the major reasons why engineers, even from reputed institutes, are not easily employed because they lack hands-on skill.
“The focus in most institutes here is always on academics and theory. Thus a mechanical engineer may actually not know how to change a part of a machine. Therefore even if a high scoring student gets placed in a good company, eventually that lack of practical knowledge catches up,” Sahasrabudhu said during a panel discussion at the sixth Higher Education Summit organised by Federation of of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Read More >>
While many disagree about how to fix Indian higher education, there is broad consensus that it is, to quote Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, “in a state of disrepair”. Most analyses put the blame squarely on the government’s shoulders. Higher education has been deeply politicised and as one of the last bastions of the licence raj, lofty rhetoric has typically disguised egregious venal behaviour.
However, much less attention has been paid to the role of business interests in shaping the direction of Indian higher education. Availability of skilled labour is a critical input for all firms, and hence Indian business has an enormous self-interest in the functioning of this sector. One could argue that just as Indian firms have been forced to adapt to chronic infrastructure shortages and disadvantageous labour laws, they have also adapted to the weaknesses of the Indian higher education system. Read More >>
Indian origin American scientist Venkataraman Ramakrishnan won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the year 2009 for his contributions to ribosome research. He shares the $1.4-million prize with two other scientists. He was educated in Tamil Nadu and Baroda but he still had to go to the United States to do the research that brought him the Nobel Prize just like India’s other Nobel laureates, S Chandrashekhar, Hargobind Khorana and Amartya Sen.
In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN Dr Ramakrishnan said India still couldn’t afford cutting-edge scientific research.
With many academicians saying that India cannot support or afford the kind of research and facilities required to produce a Nobel laureate, CNN-IBN’sFace The Nation debated: Can Indian universities throw up a Nobel laureate?
On the panel of experts to try and answer the question were IIT alumnus and best-selling author Chetan Bhagat; sociologist Ashis Nandy and Director of Centre for Philosophy and Foundations of Science Ranjit Nair.
At the beginning of the debate, 51 per cent agreed that Indian universities could throw up a Nobel laureate, while 49 per cent disagreed.
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